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McAfee’s dome

Honestly, the first things the media noticed upon entering the press box inside the Carrier Dome Saturday were the heat, the great view and the fact we wouldn’t need binoculars. Yes, we can be that fickle, but because we were so close to the field, it was pretty easy to see West Virginia kicker Pat McAfee had a new hair-do.

Rest assured, we later took time to monitor Patrick White’s warm-up and determine he would start, but McAfee’s hair was of greater concern. He’s had a history of bleaching and blonding, but always with his curly mop that he’ll sometimes let grow to considerable length or sometimes cut shorter before letting it go again.

His coach, Rich Rodriguez, once commented on his kicker’s hair by saying “I don’t want him to be the first one off the bus, I’ll tell you that much.” 

Well, to his pleasure and to our surprise — no! — chagrin McAfee went in a totally different direction with his latest cut.

McAfee has virtually no hair now after he and his long snapper, Jeremy Kash, and his brother, Bobby, decided to lose the locks. The idea was not to leave McAfee with a buzz, but with something different. Trouble is, there was trouble and now McAfee is left with something that can best be described as the University of Michigan football helmet. It’s a buzz cut with a few triangular wedges shaved into his remaining hair.

“We went for a simple David Beckham fauxhawk thing, but that didn’t work. At all. Then we buzzed it and I got bored with the buzz. Didn’t like the buzz at all. Too simple. So we tried to put little lines in there and we messed that up, so we had to go for the thick lines.”

He was his normal self in the game, though, kicking two field goals, including a 49-yarder with plenty of leg. It’s the second-longest kick of his career, just behind his 51-yarder at Pitt last year. McAfee had missed a 47-yard field goal at Syracuse in 2005, his first collegiate game.

McAfee also had a 63-yard punt Saturday and an almost perfect squib kick that appeared to hit Orange returner Mike Holmes before rolling out of bounds at about the 2-yard line. The official instead said it did not hit Holmes, called the illegal procedure penalty on McAfee and gave Syracuse the ball at the 40. McAfee, meanwhile, offered a mild protest.

“It hit off his knee. I was screaming. I was livid after that. It hit him and he turned around trying to find it. I thought it was pretty obvious it went off his leg.”